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Catcher Stodola
Pius XI High School|Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Birdies|35 x 27 in. Material(s): Ink, graphite, oil pastel, acrylic, pen. Process(es): I began with a blind contour of two figures and experimented with stripes, checkers and color.
Curatorial Note: Figurative distortion and self exploration.
“When creating I'm naive, I blindly and blissfully follow along. The “unknowingness” is what motivates me, the spontaneity is what guides me.”


Listen to the student statement
Read the transcript
People watching is one of my favorite things to do. I can create fantastical fictional characters without having to dive deeper than the surface. I often imagine how I'm perceived, do people know what's going on the inside? Do all my thoughts and problems ooze out like lava? The idea that everyone could see what's going on scared me at first. But as I continued questioning, I saw the freedom in inviting people into my mind. Pouring my interior self onto paper was the next step. I asked myself, how can distorting self-portraits reveal my internal state of mind?
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Catcher Stodola

Teacher Statement

Cathy Burnett
Through the juxtaposition of marks, materials, patterns and accurate drawing, Catcher pays attention to the power of oddities, distortion and exaggeration as she constructs her self-portraits. Her confident hand is evident, as is her willingness to be open to risk and experimentation with media and processes. Catcher’s strong drawing skills ground her, but her curiosity, imagination and playfulness allow her to keep asking what if and what else, who am I and what do I have to say? Catcher cross-pollinates her drawing, painting and collage work with her digital work. Every piece and process informs and expands her investigation.
Our AP class is highly individualized. They way we teach this class is more organic… Paying close attention to how one idea or process or combination there of, leads to the next for each student. College Board's AP Art and Design criteria has pushed Catcher to pay attention to what her work is telling her. It has required her to become more specific and intentional and has helped clarify her voice.
Our AP students are supported by a team of artist/teachers. AP students each have their own homosote covered wall space where they work independently in and outside of class time. Students have access before and after school and on Wednesday night open studio. The wall space is key for students to share ideas and processes and for rising students to see the potential for their future artwork. Students have access to teachers in and outside of class for feedback. It is the student's responsibility to ask questions and seek feedback from us. We have formal critiques often. Our framework includes weekly prompts for students to solve as it relates to their individual sustained investigation. We have found that prompts compel students to stretch and push their ideas and solutions both technically and conceptually.
Envy| 19 x 19 in. Material(s): Acrylic, markers, graphite, colored pencils, charcoal, spray paint. Process(es): I began with a naturalistic self portrait, I added symbols and patterns to convey gender envy.
Catcher Stodola